17 October 2021
Bible readings for today
God of power,
in Christ you came to us as a servant;
the greatest became the least.
In a world which values privilege and power,
may we find the humble way,
putting others before ourselves,
sharing our resources
and witnessing to the life of the one who redeems.
Through Jesus Christ our Liberator,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
Today's gospel reading is about understanding that in Jesus’ eyes, serving and being kind to others is what makes us great.
Who Is The Greatest?
Jesus and his friends were walking down the road. Jesus was talking about some things that would happen to him. He said his enemies would be so angry that they would kill him, but he also promised that he would be alive again. Most of Jesus’ friends were listening really carefully to everything that Jesus said. But not James and John. They weren’t really listening because they were busy thinking about something else. They were thinking about something they wanted Jesus to do for them. James and John (like a lot of other people) thought that Jesus was going to be crowned king while he was alive and being able to sit next to a king would be a really important thing to do. Only special people got to sit right next to royalty!
So they went to Jesus privately and said, "We want you to do something for us."
"What do you want me to do?" Jesus asked.
"When you are sitting on your throne, let us sit in the chairs on each side of you."
Jesus told them, "Only God gets to decide who sits next to me."
When Jesus' other friends heard what James and John had asked for themselves, they were pretty angry with both of them. Jesus called all twelve of them together for a meeting. He said "You know how it is with kings. They’re powerful. They get whatever they want and they get to tell other people what to do. But that’s not the way it should be with you. The one who is most important among my friends is not the person whole is like a king and tells other people what to do, and gets everything they want. NO! The really important one is the one who does what’s good for others. That’s why I came—not to have others do things for me, but to do stuff for them.”
Jesus "came not to be served" Jesus did not come so that people would do something for Him. Jesus came "to serve," to do something for others. And you know what He did for others. He died to take away our sins. That’s why God made Jesus the most important one of all. Jesus was telling us that the way to be really important is to do what we can to help other people.
The Greatest Golfer
It’s a beautiful day and three people go golfing. The first guy, Moses, steps up the tee and hits the ball which lands smack in the middle of the lake. Moses goes over to the lake, touches his gold club to the water, the waters part and he walks up to the ball and hits it out. The ball lands 2 metres from the hole. Moses steps back and smiles.
The next man, Jesus, comes up to the tee. He hits the ball and watches as it lands on a lily pad in the centre of the lake. Jesus walks on the water and, arriving at the lilypad, hits the ball which lands 1 metre from the hole. Happily he walks back to stand with Moses. Then the last person steps up and hits the ball. It’s a wild swing and the ball heads straight into the lake, but just as it hits the surface, a frog pops up and grabs the ball in its mouth. Then a huge bird, flying overhead, swoops down, grabs the frog and starts to fly away. The frog is so frightened that he spits out the ball just as they pass over the roof of a nearby house. The ball goes into the gutter, come down the drain pipe, rolls down the hill and lands directly in the hole! “A hole in one,” he excitedly yells!
Jesus looks at him and says, “Gee dad, it’s only a game!
Get Your Hands Dirty
Having a joyful and/or playful attitude will go a long way
Today, during the small group activity time, the children are going to perform an act of service within the church or church grounds. Many children have started to develop a negative view of work, and almost all children would much prefer to play. As a leader, it will be important to lead from the front. Get your hands dirty and work alongside the children. Seeing you working with them will mean a lot to them and will set a wonderful example. Also, use lots of praise and encouragement. Point out the good they’re doing and honour them for their help and service. Approaching a job with a joyful and/or playful attitude will go a long way in helping children enjoy their time serving.
A Service Project
For this activity, you may need to work with your Church's Vicar or Administrator to come up with a number of possible service opportunities for your children.
What you need
What you do
Explain that this week is all about being a servant- doing things that help others.
Share the project that you have decided on.
Work together to complete the project- lead from the front by working hard with the kids and encouraging your leaders to do the same.
About 10 minutes before the end of your session, clean up and share the snack food.
Some service ideas
What you need:
What you say:
Who hear knows the game ‘Simon says’? I bet almost all of you do. In this game, whoever is ‘Simon’ gets to tell the rest of us what to do. If Simon says, “Simon says touch your nose” then everyone has to touch their nose. If Simon says, “Simon says jump up and down 3 times” then everyone has to jump up and down 3 times. But if Simon tells us to do something without saying “Simon says” then we can’t do it. In other words, you only do things the “Simon says” to do.
Let’s try it. I’ll be Simon first (give 5-10 commands, most with “Simon says”).
Let’s try again. Let’s have someone else come up and be Simon. (in some circumstances choose someone in advance). This time, if you do something that Simon hasn’t told you to do, sit down. (Again play for awhile).
Well done all of you who are still standing! Ok, everyone can sit down now.
When I asked who would like to be Simon - a lot of you raised your hands. It’s fun being Simon because we get to think up funny things for others to do and we get to order people around. Simon is the most powerful player in the game and a lot of people like to be able to tell other people what to do. Sometimes we need to do that and sometimes we might like to just be a bit bossy.
But today’s reading talks about that. When Jesus hears that James and John want to sit in special seats and be important, he thinks that maybe his other disciples feel the same way. I mean who wouldn’t want to get the special seats. So Jesus needs to talk to them and help them understand that being powerful, having the best seats and being able to tell other people what to do wasn’t what being Jesus’ friend was all about. And you know what? It’s not about those things today either. It can be a little hard to understand because when we’re at work or at school or playing with our friends, other people can tell us what to do and we think they’re more important or special. But Jesus said that the way God sees things, the greatest people aren’t the most powerful or the richest or the smartest, the greatest people are the ones that help and serve others!
Game: Being A Server
What you need
Ask for 2 volunteers
Put one pile of 10-12 cups at each end of the first table
Give each player a tray
Instruct the players that when you say ‘go’ they are to unstack their cups, put them on the tray the right way up, run to the other table, unload them without any tipping over. The first one to do this wins. If any cups fall off, they need to start again from the first table.
If you have time, allow other pairs to compete.
Note to leaders: Try this out using the cups and trays before you do it with your group. If you have a small tray, you’ll need fewer cups. Also, very light cups might blow over too easily. If that’s the case, you can put a few lego blocks or other small objects in each cup (rather than having them stacked to begin with).
Game: Memory verse game
For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life to save others. Mark 10:45
What you need
What you do
Tikanga Youth Sunday
Three Tikanga Youth Sunday is the closest Sunday to the 19th of October every year and it is dedicated to celebrating youth in the three Tikanga of the Anglican Church throughout Aotearoa and Polynesia. On this day we remember Tarore of Waharoa, a young girl who helped to spread the Gospel throughout Aotearoa.
Chronicles of Paki (information on SUNZ)
Ngakuku, Tarore and the Little Book (SUNZ)
St Michael's Kelburn celebrate Tikanga Youth Sunday (Anglican Taonga)